Her 16-year-old brother, Abdulrahman, was killed by another United States drone strike two weeks after her father was killed. And on Tuesday, officials confirmed that an 8-year-old American girl named Nawar Al-Awlaki was also killed. "My granddaughter was staying for a while with her mother, so when the attack came, they were sitting in the house, and a bullet struck her in the neck at 2:30 past midnight", he told NBC News.
A Yemeni provincial official gave a higher toll of 41 presumed militants and 16 civilians killed in the raid, including eight women and eight children. Several Yemeni civilians were also killed in the raid.
The remark represented a departure from the policy of former President Barack Obama, who obtained a legal memo justifying a 2011 strike that killed USA citizen and accused al-Qaeda strategist Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
According to Middle East Monitor, the United States is already being blamed on social media for "assassinating children". "The perception will be that it's not enough to kill al-Awlaki - that the US had to kill the entire family", she said. But U.S. officials said some of the women Nasser al-Awlaki described were combatants, who fired on the SEALs as they approached the camp. President Trump, while offering his "deepest thoughts and humblest prayers" to the loved ones of the slain SEAL, did not mention Nawar, or any of the other civilians killed in the attack, which apparently partially fulfilled his promise to not only kill terrorists' families, but to "bomb the shit out of" America's enemies. The process of his radicalization accelerated after being imprisoned in Yemen - with U.S. encouragement - and he went on to become a top recruiter and mentor to a number of al Qaeda operatives, including Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to bring down an American airliner with explosives hidden in his underwear.
Whether the US should target its own citizens in drone strikes has been the subject of much debate. "Why kill children?", asked Nasser. "Why kill children? This is the new (U.S.) administration - it's very sad, a big crime".
Al-Qaeda is already using the latest attack in Yemen for propaganda purposes. The extremist group has been expanding rapidly in Yemen, where the US has carried out a covert drone war since 2002. "That the USA had to kill the entire family".
Nora was the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico born radical Yemeni-American cleric killed in a US airstrike in Yemen in 2011.